Aurora movie theater shooting trial: Dr. Elizabeth Lowdermilk testifies James Holmes was psychotic

She saw gunman during November after the shooting

CENTENNIAL, Colo. - The Aurora movie theater shooting gunman was psychotic, but that wouldn't stop him from planning the massacre, a psychiatrist testified Tuesday. 

Dr. Elizabeth Lowdermilk met with James Holmes after he was transported to Denver Health on Nov. 15, 2012 -- about four months after the shooting that killed 12 people and injured 70 others.

Lowdermilk said he was calm at that time, made eye contact and his answers made sense.

"He knew the month and year, but couldn't tell me the day or the date," Lowdermilk testified.

The psychiatrist said the gunman reported auditory hallucinations. He reportedly told her one voice sounded like it was coming from behind a wall.

Lowdermilk said the gunman was still describing psychotic symptoms on Nov. 18, 2012.

The gunman told her the voices told him to stop eating and to walk around, Lowdermilk testified.

The psychiatrist stated the gunman had symptoms of delirium and psychosis.

Attorneys from both sides questioned when the symptoms began and whether one caused the other.

"I don't know the order in which things developed," Lowdermilk stated.

"Do you believe Mr. Holmes was psychotic when you saw him?" Defense Attorney Tamara Brady asked.

"Yes," Lowdermilk stated.

Lowdermilk made a point of saying she was not trying to determine the gunman's sanity on the night of the shooting, only his mental status at the time.

"That's more of a legal question than a clinical one," Lowdermilk said.

Lowdermilk also echoed a statement Judge Carlos Samour made in the first days of the trial.

"You can be psychotic and still plan," the psychiatrist said.

Holmes is accused of shooting in a crowded movie theater on July 20, 2012, killing 12 people and injuring 70 others. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. 

Defense attorneys are trying to spare Holmes’ life by arguing that he was insane.

LIVE VIDEO & BLOG: http://bit.ly/theatertrial
TIMELINE of the case: http://bit.ly/theatertimeline
JURY PROFILE: http://bit.ly/theaterjury
CONTINUING COVERAGE: http://bit.ly/theatercoverage

Print this article Back to Top